The Buffalo Bills have shored up their receiving corps by adding veteran receiver Anquan Boldin today and signing him to a one-year deal worth $2.75 million, with another $1.25 million available in incentives. Buffalo had one of the league’s thinnest depth charts at the position so the move makes total sense. It also reinforces the idea the Bills aren’t in rebuilding mode and are attempting to put their best foot forward in an attempt to make the playoffs, something the franchise has unbelievably failed to do for 17 consecutive seasons.
This move has some impact in dynasty leagues, so it’s noteworthy enough to run down the players affected one-by-one this morning.
Anquan Boldin, WR BUF
One of the league’s toughest competitors, Boldin will bring 14 years of experience, 1,076 career receptions, 13,779 career receiving yards and 82 total touchdowns to his fifth NFL team after stops in Arizona, Baltimore, San Francisco and Detroit. Last year with the Lions, Boldin showed he still has some juice left in the tank after posting 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns. While his explosion has left him in many ways (he averaged just 8.7 yards per catch last year and has a career average of 12.8), he remains a chain mover and red zone threat for any team he plays for. The Bills have a game breaker in the form of Sammy Watkins and Boldin should be the perfect complement to him as defenses will undoubtedly have to pay attention to him or pay the price over the middle of field and on short-to-intermediate passing routes.
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While Boldin is no longer a fantasy starter, you can certainly make a case for him as a bye week fill-in and he’s a great veteran to have on a contending roster if Watkins was to be injured again and Buffalo needed him to play a larger role in the passing game. It’s fair to conservatively expect around 50 catches, 600 yards and a handful of touchdowns from Boldin next season.
Sammy Watkins, WR BUF
One of the fantasy and reality’s great enigmas, Watkins enters into a contract season looking healthy and ready to fulfill the promise we’ve all seen in glimpses over the years. The signing of Boldin really doesn’t do much for Watkins’ value, though it’s fair to say it helps a little in thinking defenses will have to respect the presence of Boldin more than they would a rookie like Zay Jones. Still, the biggest enemy of Watkins is the trainer’s table and that’s simply not going to change.
Zay Jones, WR BUF
Jones was a chic pick as a sleeper candidate for Fantasy Rookie of the Year based on what looked like an enormous opportunity in front of him. The addition of Boldin will stunt his short-term production but he’s still a great asset in dynasty leagues. This move may drop his rookie ADP down a spot or two but the drop won’t be drastic. Owners will just need to be a little more patient as he won’t produce as much as we had previously hoped this season.
In short, expect the ADP chart below to show Boldin up a peg or two, Watkins holding steady and Jones down a notch or so in the coming weeks.
Tyrod Taylor, QB BUF
To say this season is huge for Taylor would be a drastic understatement. The Bills have hitched their proverbial wagon (perhaps even circled them) around Taylor for the year and he needs to produce to keep the job long-term. Adding a veteran player who is as tough and productive as Boldin will certainly help. The Bills are putting Taylor in a position to be successful and it’s up to him to get it done. He remains a QB2 with upside in dynasty leagues.
Charles Clay, TE BUF
The addition of Boldin hurts the value of Jones for sure but it may be more destructive on Clay in the short term. Boldin is going to soak up a lot of the short yardage and goal line looks Clay would have received, solidifying Clay’s status as a “JAG” (just a guy) at the position. He’s going to be in a large group of TE2 types who are going to have decent games on occasion but not players you can pencil into a lineup and feel great about week in and week out.
Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, Corey Brown, WRs BUF
Streater was starting to gain a little buzz as a possible sleeper pick this year but this puts a nice little pin in that balloon. It’s hard to see any of these players having much value in anything but the deepest of dynasty leagues.
Detroit Receiving Corps
Boldin wasn’t really expected to be back in the Motor City but him officially signing in Buffalo helps move the needle for Golden Tate, Marvin Jones and especially young rookie Kenny Golladay, who is reportedly having a great camp thus far.
It’s always fun to see some our favorite veterans come back for a few unexpected seasons and Boldin will be fun to watch again this year. A true dynasty league legend, we certainly wish him the best of luck on his new team.
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